From The Angry Black Woman:

Nothing Says Internet Popularity Like

Being linked to from a White Supremacist website. Happy Monday!

ETA: Wow, if you all could see my moderation queue right now.

This is the kind of thing that makes people leave the Internet. It really is. I went through a good chunk of my early life never encountering any blatant racism. I’m sure there was some, but my young, naiveté, and probably my parents shielded me from most of it. No one ever called me a Nigger, or said I couldn’t do something because I was black, or anything like that.

I got to wait until I was all grown up for things like that to happen.

But even still, I don’t think I ever encountered the kind of raw, ignorant, stupid, dangerous, and hurtful hate due specifically to my heritage and skin color until I started this blog. I have been called a Nigger 47 times today. TODAY. And it’s not fucking over yet.

This is the kind of thing that turns people militant.

This is the kind of thing that makes people scared for their well being.

This is the kind of thing that silences voices, and I cannot lay any blame on anyone who chooses silence in the face of this.

This is the kind of thing that makes me a FUCKING ANGRY BLACK WOMAN

Everyone: Go over and show your support in the comments!!

An article in yesterday’s Guardian here reveals that 78% of students from the wealthiest homes want to go to university, while only 55% of students from the poorest homes feel the same way.

In Comment is Free, Lynsey Hanley discusses this statistic in light of her own experience coming from an impoverished background.

Now obviously, some people just don’t want to go to university, and that’s fine – more than fine, in fact.  As a society, we need to have a lot more respect for manual labour; I mean, I can’t fix a car.  Furthermore, we really shouldn’t mistake “well-educated” for “went to university” – some of the most intelligent and well-read people I know accomplished this with a library card and an open mind.

However, there’s clearly an issue of internalised classism here – people from more impoverished backgrounds simply believing that university is “not for them”.  These internalised low expectations are a key way in which classism works in a modern “meritocratic” society.  Growing up, my family went through periods where money was a bit tight (my parents ran their own business during the worst economic slowdown since The Great Depression).  As a student, I once spent three days living on mayonnaise sandwiches because I’d run out of money before payday.  While I have a decent job at the moment, my partner gets paid a pittance for a few days university teaching, meaning that we are, essentially, a single-income family.

However, my expectations have always been very middle-class.  Not only did I want to go to university, I never doubted that I would.  No matter how bleak things have gotten financially, I’ve always had this conviction that, eventually, everything would be OK.   In short, I have a wicked case of middle-class entitlement.

How do we give everyone that sense of entitlement?  How do we make sure that a university education (or any other dream for that matter) seems within reach for anyone with the requisite potential? 

Getting rid of tuition fees would be a good start.  More than that, though, a cultural change is required – and to be honest, I don’t even know how to begin.